This probably isn’t what the Phillies had in mind when they sent top prospect Domonic Brown to play for the Escogido Lions in the Dominican Republic.
The Phillies hoped his participation in winter ball would help make up for some of the time he spent on the major league team’s bench in August and September, but Brown has yet to appear in a game with the Lions, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Escogido has 26 games remaining on their regular season schedule and Brown is expected to return home before Christmas, so the clock is ticking.
Assuming Jayson Werth leaves via free agency, Brown should open next season as the starting right fielder with the Fightins. The 23-year-old outfielder hit .210 with two home runs and 13 RBI in limited action at the big league level this past season, but batted .327/.391/.589 with 20 homers and 68 RBI in 389 at-bats between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He’s widely regarded as one of the top position prospects in the game.
One interesting angle here is that the Escogido Lions are managed by Ken Oberkfell, longtime coach in the Mets’ organization. Let those conspiracy theories fly, people!
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.